At a glance, Bannigan’s story is eerily similar to Delvey’s – both young women climbing the ranks from lowly magazine interns to living the dream in NYC, surrounded by fashion’s most-glamorous.
The London College of Fashion graduate worked as Coddington’s personal assistant for two years between 2016 and 2018, landing the coveted position after an internship at US Elle and a string of high-profile work experience placements in her native Dublin. It was during her time at US Vogue that Bannigan allegedly made more than $53,000 worth of unauthorised purchases on Coddington's credit card. Along with accusing her former assistant of using her card without her consent, the Creative Director also claims Bannigan pocketed $9,000 by selling her designer clothes and accessories to luxury consignment group The Real Real.
The dispute arose in April when Coddington says she discovered suspicious transactions on her credit card statement and confronted Bannigan, who was arrested and charged the following month. While Coddington has not publicly commented on the scandal, she stated her credit card company presented the charges as legitimate; telling her to contact the police if she had any concerns.
Bannigan’s response? That it’s all a big understanding. Rejecting a plea deal on Bannigan’s behalf last Wednesday 5th September, her lawyer Michael Cornacchia told Manhattan Supreme Court that his client was refusing as she was innocent. Under the proposed deal, Bannigan would have to both repay all the allegedly stolen money and admit she committed the offenses – five total counts of grand larceny, which is defined as the theft of over $1,000 under US law, and carry a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.
“This is the beginning of addressing the charges and mounting Yvonne’s defense which we believe will ultimately lead to her being found innocent of all accusations,” Cornacchia said in court, adding that Coddington was meticulous about checking her bank statements, and would have immediately known if she was being stolen from.
“Never, ever during these two years did Coddington, who checked her credit card statements and kept track of her possessions, complain to Yvonne or anyone else about Yvonne's conduct or any misuse of credit cards or misappropriation of any of her property,” he said.
“In fact, Yvonne was the one who suggested that Coddington go to the police to report the questioned charges and Coddington went to the police the next day with Yvonne's encouragement. We have documentary proof of this and have submitted it to the prosecutors.”
On Bannigan’s next court date – set for 7th November – Cornacchia plans to file a motion to dismiss the entire case against her, and says he’s hopeful she’ll be vindicated at trial as her response to the initial accusations “was not the behaviour of someone who had committed wrongdoing”.
Whether the court will vindicate Bannigan is yet to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: don’t underestimate fashion interns.